UFO and conspiracy theories: A Christian historian’s reflections

UFOs Report Suppression as an Authentic Conspiracy Theory
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The recent revelation of Pentagon UFO monitoring program gives me hope that the U.S. Government is relenting in its suppression of UFO information. Yes, I believe in UFOs and their extra-terrestrial origins, and I also believe there is a U.S. Government conspiracy to hid these UFO visitations, and several other issues.

Readers may remember me as firm opponents of conspiracy theories, through my article, “The Sinfulness and Destructiveness of Conspiracy Theories.[1] There I made the case that that conspiracy theories are usually sinful and destructive to spiritual maturity, often leading to a sense of, “I am better, and THEY are wicked.” For instance, the theory that Prudent Roosevelt knew of the Pearl Harbor attack in advance, or that Princess Diana was murdered at the orders of Queen Elizabeth, or that the Moon landing were bogus. This latter conspiracy theory has been particularly destructive by debasing a love of science, especially among some minority children.[2]

In this article I wish to clarify my objections against conspiracy theories by affirming that occasionally they are indeed correct. In the case of the UFO data suppression by the Government, I wish to bring to bear the wisdom of historical investigations into the issue. To be clear, I am not a UFOlogist, following every report, etc. However, two decades ago, I listened regularly to the Art Bell’s late night talk show where he often featured witnesses to reported UFO incidents, citing and abductions. Mr. Bell also broadcast some stuff that was obvious nonsense – but that is a different issue.

Most governments do in fact keep secrets, many of them are necessarily for various security or economic reasons. I believe that the U.S. Government has for 75 years suppressed much information and physical evidence on UFOs, perhaps for good reasons, such as attempting to reverse engineer a UFO and gain a technological edge during the Cold War. Hopefully it is now ready to relent, and come forth with the truth.

It just seems natural that the truth in this matter is better than a falsehood which spreads general distrust of government among the public. On the other hand, supposing the Government knows that the wave of UFO sightings in the 1950s was a preliminary reconnaissance of our planet, and that in a few decades a fleet of UFOs will come to attack us, as in the picture “Independence Day” (1996).  Hiding that information would be a responsible act.

Like many, I have believed in reality of extra-terrestrial UFOs most of my life, and that such belief in not contrary to the Bible or Christianity. There have been many mature and educated Christian leaders who have agreed in this.  For instance, Agnes Sanford did as well as C.S Lewis. Lewis put his conviction about this into a novel trilogy which included a planet in which “original sin” had not yet occurred, and another in which the hold of the Demonic was even worse than ours.[3]

It seems to me that God would not waste the huge amount of material creation in our galaxy, and the billions of others, for only material ends.  But rather, like our solar system, the material creation would be a stage in which spiritual/material beings could come into existence and come to consciously worship God and choose between good and evil in some way.

Many other Christians, including some highly educated ones, have resisted the idea that there may be other self- conscious, spiritual/material beings in the universe. Dr. Stanley Jaki, a great Christian historian and scientist (physicist), with a specialty on the relationship of Christianity to the rise of science, insisted all his life that the earth would prove to be the only planet in the universe capable of sustain intelligent, spiritual/material beings.[4] He died in 2009 before the newer generation of telescopes were able to prove that the universe indeed had many planets similar to the earth, and some even having the possibility of a lie sustaining environment.[5]

Among those who believe we are the only spiritual/material beings in the universe are Christians believe that UFO sightings are real, but demonic apparitions designed to confuse Christians in the End-Times.[6] This is a far-fetched theory that cannot be disproved until we have public access to an extra-terrestrial body, such as rumored to exist in certain Government vaults, or of a UFO vehicle of unearthly construction.  That is, Satan can truly produce metal delusions, as in a person believing it sees something, but he cannot create a physical being or vehicle by incantation, etc.

On the subject of demonic counterfeits and confusion of the UFO phenomenon, let me personally affirm that indeed there is much Satanic input into this topic. The web is full of websites where persons claim they are being channeled by “space brother” to give saving advice to humanity, etc. This is nothing but typical opportunistic demonic mediumship. The demons are quintessentially opportunistic, working and distorting whatever is in the public domain of knowledge. For instance, in early American spiritism the demonic spirits who channeled though the mediums of the 1880s to 1900s typically claimed to be wise philosophers from ancient Greece or native American shamans. These spirits universally advocated against reincarnation. Things began to shift in the 1930s with the rise of Theosophy, which advocated reincarnation as a core doctrine and became a popular occult system. Perhaps the demonic entities decided that there was more spiritual mayhem to be made with reincarnation than not.[7]

I personally saw an incidence of this in my sojourn into the occult in the mid-1970s. In 1976 I attended a séance at the Atlanta “Foundation of Truth,” where the medium, a young woman, channeled a “space brother” who gave the usual Gnostic/demonic advice: be nice, love, don’t eat animals, and meditate (i.e., don’t pray or worship, or worry about your sins, etc.). It was all very interesting, if banal, but of course gave no information about any real extra-terrestrials. (No emails please, I long ago repented of that stuff, and the Lord has turned my sin and error of those years to good use.)

On the UFO issue, unlike most readers, I remember the first sustained wave of multiple UFO sightings that sprang up after the famous Roswell, New Mexico, account of a crashed UFO in 1947. The Rowell UFO crash and the half dozen or so other UFO crashes that can be reasonably documented, raise very interesting questions. These UFOs have a very superior technology, but it is not perfect, and some sort of malfunction or “pilot error” leads to these crashes. Why do these beings come from far away to observe us and chance personal disaster?

To be blatantly speculative, let me guess it is because as spiritual beings, they are after all part of God’s creation, they have the same spiritual duties and obligations as we do. Before the incarnation, Lady Wisdom of Proverbs commanded that humans seek wisdom and knowledge. This was not revoked by the New Testament. Note for instance, Jesus’ description of the “scribe of the kingdom” in Matt 13:52 who brings up things that are new. Gaining knowledge and wisdom has always been taken by Jews with utmost seriousness. In the rabbinical tradition study is equivalent to prayer. Thus perhaps some of these extra-terrestrial creatures are doing their spiritual duty in exploration and observation of the unknown. (On the other hand, if some of these extra-terrestrial races have fallen into some sort of “original sin” as deeply or deeper than us, perhaps they are on reconnaissance missions to facilitate conquest).

Back to the initial sightings in the 1950s, I vividly recall my father reading to the family a long article on UFO sightings and supposed encounters from a major magazine (cir. 1952).  My brother Al was skeptical, but I sensed the accounts were real, and even though I was only six, felt certain God was doing spiritual creation on other planets, maybe even near-by Mars. A few years later my brother George, ten years older than me, had a job as a camp counselor in upper New York State, and one night, in company with other counselors chatting at a fire pit, saw a UFO. It was oval in shape, glowed throughout, made no noise.

His account, like almost all UFO reports, have the disadvantage of not being caught in a lab and repeatable in public, peer reviewed, etc. so must remain the realm of what I term “half-knowing” –  just like mystical experiences. But my brother had absolutely no reason to invent such a story, and had no gain in reporting it, just like the majority of UFO witnesses.

Let me share another story along that line. (The UFO literature if full of similar ones.)

In 1993, just before I accepted post as Hispanic pastor, I was working as a security guard. I was at post with a man who had come out of a tour in the US Coast guard a few years earlier. Four of us were at the office during shift change, drinking coffee, the conversation turned to UFOs.  We were all Christian and talking about the implications of extra-terrestrial life.

The ex-Coastguardsman shared a personal and hair-raising incident that occurred when he was on duty on a Coast Guard cutter. He and other in the crew saw a saucer like UFO come from the horizon and trail the ship, passing close by, as if it were inspecting the cutter, then diving into the water, and coming out and off into the horizon. The craft had windows ports, but he could not see the creatures inside. When the cutter made port, a high ranking office was at dock side and instructed all in the crew that this UFO incident was to be kept secret, and any break would result in serious charges and court marshal.

My brother’s account, and especially the one of the Coast guardsman, point to an important element of historical investigation (as well as police work). That is, the importance of a reliable witness. That is someone who has no interest or gain by telling a lie, but merely submits information because they have seen it and it is relevant.

A person who lies has a purpose to do so, self-glorification, covering up a fault, etc. But neither my brother nor the Coast-guardsman had any such motives.  A reading of the UFO literature shows countless other testimonies that gained nothing but suspicion or ridicule from others. No gain involved. As a historian I must conclude that what these witness saw was true and extra-terrestrial, although must reside in the realm of “half-knowing” until we have some sort of physical evidence. I must also conclude that there is a government cover-up in this.

There is at least one other Government cover-up and conspiracy that I can briefly mention, the Abominable Snowman (Yeti). In 1977 I had a temporary room-mate (I believe he is now deceased). He had worked as a government psychologist at an Indian tribe out in a reservation in New Mexico.  We were talking about UFO and the conversation turned to the Yeti type creatures.

He said, “Oh yeah, they are out there. On the reservation when the Indians find a body they bury them reverently. Oops, I should not have said that. It is a Government secret and I can get in trouble.”  Why I asked, would the Yeti thing be kept secret. He said that the Government does not want public storming in and disturbing them. It seemed to me that is a thin bit of reasoning, but he was reluctant to argue or discuss further.

Again, the issue of a reliable witness; he was a sincere Christian. I respected him for his wisdom and education and professional competence, and he had no motive to try to impress me by telling me some sort of tall tale.

All of which is to say that conspiracy theories are generally untrue, and harmful, but a few are true.

 

[1] Pneuma Review. Posted June 29, 2015.  http://pneumareview.com/the-sinfulness-and-destructiveness-of-conspiracy-theories/

[2] Ibid.

[3] The Lewis novels are: Out of the Silent Planet (1938), Perelandra (1943) and The Hideous Strength (1945).

[4] The Road of Science and the Ways to God. (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press,1978), and Angels, Apes and Men. (La Salle: Sherwood, Sugden, 1983).

[5] Here is a readable summary ofd the chances of life-sustaining plantes in the universe: J. James, “How many Planets in the Universe Can Sustain Life?” Socrates. Posted March 22, 2014.  https://socratic.org/questions/how-many-planets-in-the-universe-can-support-life.

[6] Jessilyn Justice, “End-Time Deception: People Seeing UFOs Everywharer,” Charisma. Posted 4/27/2017.  https://www.charismanews.com/culture/64543-end-time-deception-people-seeing-ufos-everywhere

 

[7] See my Past Life Visions: A Christian Exploration (New York: Seabury, 1983). 86-87

William DeArteaga

William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major works include, Quenching the Spirit (Creation House, 1992, 1996), Forgotten Power: The Significance of the Lord’s Supper in Revival (Zondervan, 2002), and Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Wipf & Stock, 2015). Bill pastored two Hispanic Anglican congregations in the Marietta, Georgia area, and is semi-retired. He and his wife Carolyn continue in their healing, teaching and writing ministries. He is the state chaplain of the Order of St. Luke, encouraging the ministry of healing in all Christian denominations.

27 Comments

  • Reply October 20, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    THANK YOU for another great one Dr. William DeArteaga Would love to tackle it with Joe Absher Michael Ellis Carter Jr. Isara Mo RichardAnna Boyce in the morrow – especially in deciding if UFOs are evil spirits etc

  • Reply January 4, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    If a flying saucer lands…
    How would that change your theology? Come on. Stretch your minds a bit around that one.

  • Reply January 4, 2020

    Joe Absher

    Have you been reading the NIV

    • Reply January 5, 2020

      Isara Mo

      Joe Absher
      The NIV is my best translation Joe.
      Are there UFOS in it?

    • Reply January 5, 2020

      Joe Absher

      I grew up in a different time . it’s fine for starters maybe . the reason say that is because it’s a kinda religious joke about the Not Inspired Version . I don’t mean any harm . I always say it’s not the Bible you read it’s the Bible you live .
      But didn’t they take out the word blood and cross in some places ?

  • Reply January 4, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    From childhood I have wondered if false prophets know they are false prophets or do they really believe they have heard from God. I think about that a lot lately.

    • Reply January 4, 2020

      Joe Absher

      Just keep preaching the gospel friend .

    • Reply January 5, 2020

      Isara Mo

      Troy Day
      From childhood I always wondered about world beyond..
      In my school days I read book by a certain Dutch author Van Danicken?.
      Mysteries of Bermuda Triangle..
      Atlantis..
      The ancient civilization..
      Mayans
      Aztecs..
      Monguls… .
      And I came into yoga while an adult and was taught in our school of ministry that *there are in existence civilizations far more advanced than ours(earthly)… and that these were revelations by “Ascended Masters”….
      God waited until I had read and explored all the fantastic stuff then one night said //
      I’m your Father and you are my Son come…
      And since time the journey has been re directed….inwards.
      As Joe says focus on Gospel.. true gospel.
      I don’t know the number of my hairs.. I don’t know the number of created beings in the universe.
      Enough to know Jesus is the WAY THE TRUTH and the LIFE

    • Reply January 5, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Isara Mo sorry not in the habit of posting during church times – really sorry

  • Reply January 4, 2020

    Deacon Joseph Bell

  • Reply January 4, 2020

    Joe Absher

    If God sent them to hear the gospel . would he be able to them to your street outreach or your store front mission or your church ? Think on that one you old prognosticator .

  • Reply January 4, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    I know youve seen them Joe Absher

  • Reply January 5, 2020

    Isara Mo

    Troy Day I have had encounters of very strange kinds.. over the years.
    I have heard and seen things very abnormal.. out of our NORMAL. theologies..
    If we can’t see bacteria with our naked eyes.. if we can’t see X Ray’s or radio or TV waves not to mention the wind and the electricity and flying witches and demons (ever seen a demon in your life Troy) I wouldn’t be surprised if people see flying saucers or UFOs… (not USA drones for sure)
    I usually look up and contemplate on the BEYOND… and chose not to limit God by my imagination or theology or human views..

    • Reply January 5, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      tell us more pls

    • Reply January 5, 2020

      Isara Mo

      Troy Day
      No. TROY. I won’t tell more of this “weird” stuff.
      Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the WORD OF CHRIST..
      I always try to be as they are.. coming to their level of faith and understanding lest I sound weird..
      When I read posts on territorial spirits and thing from the supernatural which you upload here frequently and when I see skeptical responses to such realistic posts(for me) then I said to myself it is better to play milk than meat or bones.
      When a person is in the level of milk let them drink milk..
      Bones is to the mature…
      Let’s not derail the kids ftom their faith by our terrestrial adventures..
      I know God has hidden MOST of what He has created from us because our puny minds can’t bear them…
      In 2 Cor 2 (I think) Paul said he knew of a man whether in body or spirit he didn’t know..
      And the fellow was taken to the third Heaven and heard UNSPEAKABLE things…
      You don’t need to go to the third Heaven to hear the UNSPEAKABLE THINGS..
      God gives a man ear data equivalent to his GB..
      There are folks whose spiritual flash disks can’t accommodate a 20mb data….
      IIf you bring UFOS and the underwater cities and civilizations and cities buried under the Sahara and the fact that the oldest man lived in Africa and black holes and existence of billions of galaxies to a man whose understanding of the world is only New York and the Bronx and his pastor and their church you will derail him..
      Safer to go that level where he is..
      Jesus lowered Himself to our levels of GBs and even in that level we are still trying to understand Him two years later.. and believe me the division abound reflect the confusion in our midst.
      Again as Joe Absher advices let’s focus on Gospel…
      Let’s leave the UFOs aside to save the babies..

  • Reply May 18, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    seen any your way today? Larry Dale Steele

    • Reply May 18, 2020

      Larry Dale Steele

      Troy Day lol not today

    • Reply May 18, 2020

      Larry Dale Steele

      Troy Day have you seen any your way

    • Reply May 18, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Larry Dale Steele I seen some black snakes out already Not much here with the covid and all 🙂

    • Reply May 18, 2020

      Larry Dale Steele

      Troy Day lol I haven’t seen a snake yet but a couple Ground hogs and a lot of cars the last few days

    • Reply May 18, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Larry Dale Steele no cars myway yet Peace and quite country life thank GOD but them snail are fixin to come out I know may 20th is when I start seeing them every year Need me a long chain and a hook to pull some old roof metal and barbwire where I think they may be layin – your chickens doing good this year?

    • Reply May 18, 2020

      Larry Dale Steele

      Troy Day chickens are good but lots of tics on the cows this year

    • Reply May 18, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Larry Dale Steele my chickens eat them tics for breakfast BUT getting some soft eggs this year though gave them tons of crush shell and still not good for some reason

    • Reply May 18, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Larry Dale Steele RichardAnna Boyce is a Auzie UFO

  • Reply May 19, 2020

    Kimberley Johns

    Just stay prayed up so that if you see one, you can tell it to leave in Jesus’ Name. 🙂

  • Reply May 19, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    I don’t feel like arguing with atheists or ungodly ppl tonight. And frankly, I don’t really care how old the earth is. The Bible indicates 6-10 thousand yrs old. Carbon dating is proven to be a fraud. And the earth ain’t flat either, you bone heads! Lol.

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